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Pierre Mortier: 5e Carte Particuliere des Costes de Bretagne Contenant les Environs de la Rade de Brest

Map: FR3342
Cartographer: Pierre Mortier
Title: 5e Carte Particuliere des Costes de Bretagne Contenant les Environs de la Rade de Brest
Date: 1708
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 31 inches / 79 cm
Height: 23 inches / 59 cm
Map ref: FR3342
Sumptuous example of Mortier's sea chart of the coast of Finistère, the western tip of Brittany. The map specifically focuses on the coastline from Porspoder in the north to Audierne in the south, including the important port of Brest. All of the known rocks, sand banks, and other marine hazards are identified. The map is embellished with rhumb lines and an attractive compass rose.

This map was published in the first volume of Pierre Mortier's Neptune Francois, which concentrates on charts of the coasts of northwest Europe and France. The Neptune Francois was first issued simultaneously in Paris and Amsterdam by Hubert Jaillot and Pierre Mortier respectively in 1693. The project was highly successful and Mortier developed the Atlas by adding two more sections or volumes to it. The first, Vol II, was also issued in 1693 and consisted of a set of charts provided by the noted Dutch artist Romeyn de Hooghe. Collectively these are known as the “ Cartes Marines a l’Usage des Armees du Roy de Grande Bretagne” and were originally drawn for William III of Great Britain. De Hooghe was primarily an artist and his charts bear a distinctive pictorial aspect. They have become renowned for their aesthetics, being cited as the most beautiful set of charts ever published. Volume III added in 1700, entitled “Suite de Neptune” concentrated on charts outside of French territory, including maps of the New World, the West Indies, South East Asia, and the Indian Ocean.

Mortier’s edition was a prestige work. Later scholars have found that his book was the most expensive sea atlas produced in Amsterdam up to that time. On the rare occasions that an example of one of the maps in full original colour can be obtained, it is easily perceived why this work is cited as one of the finest and most spectacular atlases ever produced.

Click here to read our Map of the Month feature about Pierre Mortier's Neptune Francois.

Magnificent original hand-colour. [FR3342] [BC]